Monday, January 30, 2012

Lunch, Movies, CV Rally and More.

Good morning, it is Monday.

Yesterday was a great day.  After church (Maren and I taught Sunday School, and Maren did the Children's sermon at church) Maren's parents took the littles to the movies while I took Maren out to lunch and Preston played soccer.  Preston did make a goal for a game tied at 1, but that was all it took for them to move on to the quarterfinals.  Back to Maren's birthday lunch at Red Robin.  She had a free burger coupon so it was a yummy lunch to be sure, then it was a trip down to South Center for her other favorite stores.  I don't know the names of the places I had to go, but they all had lots of perfumes and soaps and the like.  I did manage to sneak into Sports Authority for a few moments on my own.

 Here is Maren at one of her favorite stores.  They sell just chunks of soaps and stuff.  Wacky.
We knew that Carol was taking Lillie to a movie at South Center and they would have a few moments to check out the make-up stores too.  We figured that there was no way to avoid the universe putting us in the same store at the same time even thought we took different cars, different places for lunch, and totally different agendas.  And sure enough, we all ran into each other.  Here is Maren, Carol, and Lillie.  John and Hansen saw War Horse while Lillie and Nana saw Beauty and the Beast in 3-D.

In the evening there was a "Save Cedar Valley" rally at the school.  Yup, the district has put our local school on the chopping block with it's closure a real possibility come the end of the year.  There are a few very vocal PTA folks who have started Facebook pages and the like to save the school.  What they have started has become a very big movement, and last night in the pouring rain and gloomy weather there were probably 300 folks rallying to save the school.  Will it work?  We shall see.  I doubt the district will close a different school, but this type of support for CV may help them not close any school.  It was a very impressive turn out, amazing really, I was glad to be there.
This is a picture of just some of the folks.  I was in the middle up against the wall for this picture.

And to make the evening even longer I attended the annual meeting at the church.  It was a long meeting with a bit of discussion on some important issues, but it all ended smoothly and I'm glad I attended.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


Good morning, it is Sunday.

Yesterday Preston guest played for a local soccer team in the first half of a big tournament.  Yesterday they had two games in our area, in a couple of weeks they will finish the tournament in Oregon.  The level of play in this tournament is a bit higher than what he is used to, but he is figuring it out well.  In the second game he scored a cool header goal off a corner kick to tie the game at 2.  The team lost the first game and tied the second.  Now they just need to win a game in Oregon and they could be looking good.
 Coming on the field in blue and white.  Not the orange he is used to.
 Oregon Premier League signs were everywhere.
The second game in the evening was played under lights.

Preston still has a game today with his Slammers team too.  It is the third game in their State Cup tournament and I think they only need score a goal to advance.  Win or loose, they just need one goal.

So what did the rest of the family do during this soccer weekend?  Lillie got to go to a birthday party at the local indoor swimming pool.  Hansen got to spend the day with his x-box, and I took Maren out to lunch at Panda Express then a quick trip to Costco.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Maren's Home!

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Last night Maren got back from her ALA conference.  It was a little touch and go for her as the weather was getting bad and her pilot wasn't at the plane, but in the end she got home with only a 30 minute delay.  Preston had a "homework" date, so he wasn't with us, but the littles and I had a very good dinner at John and Carol's house then picked Maren up from the airport.
Waiting for Mar's plane to arrive we did go up and down the escalators a couple of times, checked out the hanging airplanes and even wished for doughnuts at the little magazine store.  But after just a few long minutes Maren found her way down the corridor along with a couple of library fiends.  Lillie was having too much fun, saying stuff like, "here comes mom!...nope, that's just an old guy."...ouch.

Of course Mar brought home a few books and treats for the kiddos.  And she won a fabulous prize at one of her events for having the "most recent birthday".  Waahoo!

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Back To School.

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

We are up and getting ready for school/work.  That's right, yesterday the KSD canceled school because half the schools still didn't have power!  We may be going to school till the end of June this year, but this little break was very nice.

I started the clean up of the back yard.  Once I got started it didn't seem quite so bad.  I have only used the clippers and not yet used the chainsaw I borrowed from John.
 This is one of the piles of branches I have piled up for removal.  I do feel very lucky that we only had small trees fall in such a way to cause zero damage to the deck, fence, or house.  It is clear that there are many folks around who fared far worse.
 What to do on another day off?  We headed up to the outlet stores in North Bend.  Preston needed new soccer shoes and the rest of us like shoes too.  Besides, I was curious to drive over HWY 18 from out house to I-90 as it was closed for several days due to fallen trees.  And it really is amazing how many trees had to be cut and cleared over the roadway just to get it open again.  This is our stack of shoes.  Lillie and I enjoyed a BOGO half off sale at Sketchers, while the boys were shopping sales at Nike.  Hansen and Preston spotted a 20% off sign on shoes and saved us even a little more money!  Preston and I are size 11, Hansen size 10.5...I could use the kids shoes in a pinch these days no problem!  Lillie's are very cute little camo/butterfly shoes.  She also completed her camo/butterfly shoes with a trip to Claire's and a necklace that is a little black bottle filled with poison along with a skull and cross bones for warning.  Yikes.
 But Lillie did enjoy a quick little ride with Pooh Bear.
I found this picture on my phone.  Lillie has been following the cats around taking pictures.  You know the cats are tired of her when they actually visit me.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Thawing Out.

Good morning, it is Saturday.

The bulk of the storm seems to be in the past now.  It was supposed to get very windy last night, but I didn't feel that at our house at all.  Yesterday driving home from the Ostergard's house it was clear that Kent got hit very hard by this ice-storm.  Plenty of Kent/Covington is still without power and there are trees down everywhere.  Mostly just big limbs and smaller trees, but there are a few very big trees that snapped off, even in our culdesac.  The big danger now will be both flooding and the weight of the snow breaking carports and roofs.  We should be good in both of those departments, but the TV news will be showing plenty of those in the next couple of days.
This picture is a panorama picture I took with Hansen's camera from an upstairs window.  You can't see the extent of the damage by any stretch, but you can see some broken trees.  As of now things are just thawing out.  The roads and yard are still covered with slushy snow, but it should be gone in a few more days.  By the time school comes around on Monday things should be pretty much back to normal.  At some point over the next few weeks I will probably go out and buy a small electric chainsaw to do cleanup in the yard.  No big hurry.

Today is kind of a hang out day.  Preston has four indoor soccer games this evening as both of his teams have double headers.  Then has a game tomorrow morning as well.  I may take the littles out to the movies while Preston is soccering.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Birthday Cake.

Good morning, it is Friday.

Snow day number four is today.  In fact, lets just say this whole week has been a snow week as the kids have not had a single hour of school this week!  Yesterday to add to the fun of the freezing rain and snow, we lost power.  The power went out in the morning, came on briefly in the evening, then went out again.  As I type we still have no power.  So how am I blogging without power you may ask?  I am at John and Carol's house where they have power.  Yup, Maren had a 7:00am flight for an ALA conference this morning so knowing there was power here and not wanting to be driving around in the snow not knowing about school and the kids and such, we all just came and spent the night at the Ostergard's house and had a little birthday party for Maren as well.  I did get Maren to the airport where her flight took off on schedule...way better than the folks who tried to fly out yesterday and had flights canceled...about 80% of the travelers.
 This is the view out the front widow of John and Carol's house.  Their cars are totally covered in ice and snow and will not be going out anytime soon.  My car is out front, much closer than down the hill and walking like we did yesterday as we just couldn't make it up the hills on our way over.  As exciting as it all sounds, it really is no trouble and we are just happy to be warm, full, and with power. 
Maren's mini birthday party!  I will never tell how old she is, I hope the candles don't give it away:)  I'm not sure that no power and a frozen rain storm along with down trees and the like are really what Maren had in mind for her birthday.  But I'm thinking this will be one she remembers.  I did call my mom to wish her a happy birthday before the power went out.  I got the message machine and tried to sing a happy birthday for each year but puttered out rather quickly.

Our plan is to head back home around noon, but that may change if the power never comes on.  Some reports are no power till tomorrow.  We shall see.  For now we are doing great, thanks to John and Carol.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Happy Birthday Maren and Mom.

Good morning, it is Thursday.

Happy birthday to Maren and to my mom!  Both January 19th birthdays...wacky huh?
Here is a picture of Maren from yesterday...or a year earlier if you're only talking age.  We ventured out for a little walk around the neighborhood.
Freezing rain all night has left the area in disarray.  Everything outside is covered in sheets of ice.  The world looks like a glazed doughnut!  But the ice is so heavy that every few minutes you can hear trees breaking and it is pretty disconcerting.
Hard to see it in this picture, but the van (not under snow) is coated with a centimeter of solid ice!  This car is just not moving anytime real soon.
And a broken tree in the back yard.  The way the trees are breaking it is like they were hit by lightning.  Crazy huh?
Yesterday Hansen (right) went sledding with a bunch of friends at the local school.  He was gone for hours and had a great time.
Preston and his friends avoided sledding with the littles of the world, but that didn't keep warm and dry...they played football for quite a while.
And for the last picture of the day...a shot of our TV while Kiro 7 was driving just a few miles from our house and filming the ride.  Yup, where is the road?

Yes, there is no school today for the third school day in a row!

Happy Birthday to Maren and Mom, and see you tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Another Snow day.

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

All of Preston and Lillie's antics worked.  There is no school today, it's a snow day!  What antics you ask? Well, they both did a joint "snow dance" where they wore their jammies inside out, slept with their pillows on the wrong end of the bed, and did a "snow chant" while tossing their pillows before going to sleep.  Wacky, but it worked!  Today we probably still have several inches of snow about.  Today is supposed to be pretty calm, but tomorrow may bring over a foot of snow according to forecasts.

Yesterday was hanging out and watching the snow.  I did take Lillie and her friend Adi to the local hill for some sledding.
 Walking to the school.
 No school thanks to M.L.K Day, but that didn't keep the kids away...the school has the best sledding hill around.
 The snow was pretty worn off the hill, but sledding was still fun.
Walking back home the neighborhood looked very cool.  I think snow totally piled on the trees looks very cool.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, January 16, 2012

M.L.K Day.

Good morning, it is Monday.

Today is M.L.K. day, while we have the day off from school it is good to reflect on Martin Luther King Jr.'s life and views.  Would he be pleased with the world of today?  Or would new and different hurdles keep showing up on the path in front of him?  I would think that many of the laws in place today he would be good with, but I think the politics of today would have him scratching his head.  Politics, wealth, jobs, taxes, education, health care, and fairness...can't we just get along?  Nope.  And are we really supposed to get along?  We had a guest speaker at church who was quite dynamic and I went to one of her classes last Monday evening.  She pointed out that for all of the history of the world humans have not gotten along and to think they should is just turning your back on history.  Not pretty, and not supposed to be.  Well, she was a speaker brought in by our church who of late has taken strides to be more "Bible based", which seems to me is just a way to justify finding the parts of the Bible that suit one's narrow agenda, and in this case, maybe a little more right winged and narrow agenda.  Anyhow, I don't think M.L.K. would be overly satisfied with the world of today, and I can't say I am either.

But my family, friends, and the place that I live is pretty awesome.  With no school today and being totally snowed in, we all played some fun games last night.  Balderdash was fun, so was Hearts and a card game the kids taught me called B.S.  Yes, B.S. does stand for B.S., but now I know a pretty fun card game that is not bad and better for  an eight years old than Hearts.  Yup, when playing Hearts, Lillie would get mad when she didn't win a trick.  She didn't really get the whole strategy, she just wanted to be the one who starts every time, points be whatever.  Maybe the boys and I will have to trade Lillie for Maren for a game later.

Now to snow.  The next couple of pictures are pretty tame pictures as it turns out.  But you have to realize that is is mid January and we didn't think we would see any snow this season....and we thought this would be all the snow we would get.
 Preston and Connor doing a little snowball fighting.
 Lillie building a snowman.
And the completed snowman.  Just a little fellow.

Right now there is tons of more snow and frozen roads.  Over the next couple of days we are expecting possibley another eight inches of snow.  I doubt we will have school on Tuesday or Wednesday if the predictions are correct.  Today we will probably hike up to the school for sledding, then maybe into town as well...I'm thinking the kids may want a Slurpee?

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Last Hurrah.

Good morning, it is Saturday.

Last night Hansen had (and is still having) his last birthday party for his twelfth birthday.  After school he had a couple of friends come over for an overnight.  These three boys devoured tons of pizza, then I took them to see Tower Heist in the $3.00 theater in Renton.  I really enjoyed the movie, very funny.  The boys are now up and gaming on different gaming devices.  Breakfast was scrambled eggs made by Hansen's friend Issac, toast from the loaf of bread we were given by Larry.  Best toast ever!  And coffee from the new Keurig maker.  Yup, I said new...the old one broke and Keurig's awesome customer service sent us a new one at no charge!  I'm thinking the Keurig system is coffee sales driven, kind of like cell phones are contract driven?
Here is Hansen blowing out his single candle on his doughnut.  These kids devoured the pack of doughnuts without issue as well.

The little's school had their Martin Luther King Jr. assembly yesterday.  The drama club performed a   half hour skit which had rave reviews.  I didn't get to attend, but even Hansen said Lillie did a good job!

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dear Tooth Fairy,

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Yesterday at school Lillie lost a tooth!  Yep, this tooth was ready to come out a day or two ago, but she wouldn't let me help in the process.  She really wanted me to pull it out a day or two ago, but every time she let me try she would freak out before I even got a good grip of the tooth.  A far cry from the days that Preston would actually let me tie dental floss around his teeth and then to the door...then he would slam the door himself.  Those were some fun times!  But Lillie did just fine, and in the end it worked out great for her as she lost her tooth at school!
This is the cute little treasure chest she got to hold her tooth in.  The boys used to get a little tooth shaped necklace, but the treasure chest was very cool.
And the letter Lillie wrote to the Tooth Fairy.  The Tooth Fairy usually leaves a dollar per tooth at our house.  I hear reports of crazy things at school like $5.00 per tooth from kids then the teachers always say they would get a quarter.  

Today is a late start day for all the kids.  Well, except for Lillie.  Due to a long practice for the Drama Club, she is actually leaving earlier than usual.  The Drama Club will perform a play for Martin Luther Kind Day this Friday.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Soccer, Biking, and Shopping...With Kids.

Good morning, it is Monday.

Yesterday was a day that I got to hang out with each of my kids all at different times.  In the morning Preston had the first game of the State Founder's Cup.  He scored 4 goals and lead his team to a 4-3 win.  He played a very good game and each of his goals were really amazing considering he was double and triple teamed the whole game.  We drove the coach and a couple of other kids as well to Marymoor park in Redmond.  The place is very cool with a rock climbing wall for professionals and a velodrome for bikers.  I got to check each out as I had a whole hour to burn before the game.  On the way home I only had a $10.00 bill in my pocket but a car full of hungry kids, so it was to the McDonald's drive-through and nine McDoubles.  One for coach and I, two for each kid and a floater.

Once home I took Hansen out mountain bike riding on some actual trails.  His new bike is very cool and the full suspension really smooths out the ride.  He only let me try it one time around a circle trail, but compared to my oldish no suspension bike, his was very smooth.  No, no, I don't want a new bike now, my bike is a cool single speed bike, very simple and I like it.  Hansen likes all his technology, so it works.  We were only out for about 45 minutes, one of these days I will take him on a much longer adventure.

Then in the evening it was off to run a few errands.  I had to run to the bank, put gas in the van, and stop by Fred Meyer's.  Lillie wanted to come along if we could stop by McDonald's to use her free large fry coupon.  So I had an errand buddy.  
Somehow I only took one picture yesterday, and this was it.  It was great hanging with the kids, but one of these days I'm going to have to ditch the kids and spend the day with Maren.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, January 07, 2012


Good morning, it is Saturday.

This is exactly the kind of morning that I named my blog after.  I am the first one up, I have a mug of coffee, the house is extremely quiet, and I'm blogging away.  The only noise is Hansen's phone buzzing every minute because he keeps getting text messages.  Ok, now his phone is silent and I just read a couple of his messages...haha.  Hansen especially likes it (I mean hates it) when I catch him texting a friend named Veronica and then I start belting out the lyrics from the song Veronica by Elvis Costello.  

I have gotten the golf bug again, but it has been so rainy that all I have been doing is putting around the living room and changing all the clubs in my bag.  I have a big bag and a push cart, and a small bag for carrying, so I am always switching clubs back and forth depending on if I think I want to carry or push my clubs.  And it is more complicated than that.  If I carry, I only carry 9 clubs in a small bag and I don't want the extra added weight of an umbrella and rain gear, but if I push I carry all 14 in a big bag, use a push cart, and attach my umbrella.  Of course, club selection also changes based on what golf course I will be playing.  Yup, Maren thinks I'm wacky too...or fussy is the word she uses.     
This golfer is not me, but if I was out golfing today, I would pretty much look just like this guy with his push cart and umbrella...only my jacket would be a little heavier.  We call folks who golf in the rain and muck "mudders".  I may be a mudder again some day, but I'm not quite there yet.

Alright, off to clean up some cat barf.  Or maybe I should just leave it for Maren?  Nah, I'll go clean it this time.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, January 06, 2012


Good morning, it is Friday.

I am so glad it is Friday!  This three day week has really dragged on and on.  Getting back into the school swing of things has been hard on us all.  And to make it worse, we have been busier than ever.  Lillie has had dance class, Hansen has had extra homework, and Preston has had Driver's Ed and tons of soccer.

Last night Lillie didn't even want to go to dance class, but I brought her there anyway.  And as it turns out, she was very happy to be there.  She found out that her ballet class is doing a Masquerade for the recital.  Yup, she gets to have a mask...on a stick!  So very exciting.

Preston completed his very last Driver's Ed class/drive last night.  Now it is just keep on driving and when his 16th birthday comes around, get his license.  I must admit that Preston has become a much better driver thanks to the drives that he has had thought the class.  Two nights in a row Preston has gotten home at around 9:45pm due to soccer practice.  I don't think Preston minds so much, but it is hard to get the littles going to bed when Preston is not even home from soccer.

On a more fun note, Maren purchased some fitness game for the Kinect which we tried out for a few minutes last night.  The things we did were kick soccer balls and punch out cubes.  Fun and goofy, this game tricks you into a little exercise.  Cool.

Well, off to the day, see you tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

A new bike!

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Yesterday Hansen received his big birthday gift in the early afternoon as Carol and John were on their way to spend the night at Jack and Avery's house.
This big box had been hiding in the Ostergard garage for the last three weeks or so.  John brought it out in his truck and Hansen was quite surprised!
After a bunch of building, it was out for a test drive.  Hansen is geeking out over his new bike.  And for some reason he didn't want to trade me for my old bike...hmm.  It took us a little while to get the gears adjusted, but for now the bike is working perfectly.  No, Hansen is not wearing a helmet for this little test ride, but he does wear one when we go riding.
In the evening it was off to the Golden Peacock for some yummy food.  Hansen and Lillie say the Golden Peacock has the Egg McMuffin of cheeseburgers!  While Maren, Preston and myself enjoy the Chinese food.

Back to work and school for the kids and I.  Maren has already left as she has a dentist appointment this morning.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

21 and 12.

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Happy 21st wedding anniversary Maren!  Yup, today makes it 21 years.
I took photos of pictures hanging on the wall to get today's blog pics.  This picture was take a couple of months after Maren and I got married by a professional portrait studio, but we are dressed the same as the day we got married.  Yup, pink...we were cool like that.

Then nine years later Hansen was born.  Indeed, Hansen was born on our ninth anniversary.  Happy 12th birthday kiddo!  I'm thinking this picture is Hansen's four year picture.  So cute.
Hansen has always told us that we are the lucky ones to have him born on our anniversary...he says that  he is the best gift ever!  And we should give him even better birthday gifts in return.  And in that spirit, he will be getting a whopper of a gift today!

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy New Year!

Good morning, it is Sunday.

2011 is officially in the books and 2012 is the date to remember for now.  I am sure I will still find myself writing 1992 and stuff like that when in a hurry...but it really is 2012 now.  We ended up at a party thrown by Maren's cousin.  We had a great time as did all the kids.  We got home around 10:45 pm, just in time to watch a recorded Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper's New Years, then switch over at 11:45 pm to see the fireworks on the Space Needle.  Strangely Kind 5 didn't do an actual countdown which was kind of strange, but we figured it out.
Here the kids are "clinking" in the new year at our house.  Yeah, sparkling apple cider!
 Back at Annie and Kraig's party we played cool board game.  I don't know the name, but it was fun.  Maybe you recognize it?  Preston hung out with us adults and got along splendidly.
 Back in the living room the kids were having their own fun goofing off and playing x-box.
Here is Maren and her cousin Annie.  There was great food, great desserts, and fun was had by all...last year:)

Happy New Year!  See you tomorrow.